Edema

About Edema

Edema Symptoms

Causes of Edema

Edema Swelling

Edema Treatment

Pulmonary Edema

Pitting Edema

 

About Edema

Edema is swelling caused by an excessive accumulation of fluid in the small spaces that surround the tissue and organs. This accumulation can occur when your capillaries leak fluid as a result of damage or increased pressure. Your body tries to compensate for the loss of fluid in your capillaries by retaining water in your kidneys. This over compensation then causes the capillaries to leak even more, creating a cycle of excess fluid throughout the body. When the fluid leaks into the surrounding tissue, the tissue swells and causes edema. Edema occurs most often in the legs because there is constant pressure on them. Various problems can cause peripheral edema in the legs, which may not be related to a specific disease.

Edema in the legs can lead to serious health problems. Always talk to your doctor or health care provider for information about causes of peripheral edema and treatment options.

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Edema Symptoms

Symptoms of Edema Include:

 

  • •Swelling or puffiness of the tissue under the skin
  • •Stretched or shiny skin
  • •Skin that retains a dimple after being pressed for several seconds
  • If you are experience any of these signs of edema, please make an appointment to see your health care provider.

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Causes of Edema

There can be a variety of causes of leg edema. Swelling can be due to a number of factors such as: Venous Insufficiency: Venous insufficiency is one of the most common causes of leg edema. It is a disorder caused when the veins in the legs are unable to effectively move blood back to the heart. This functional disorder can lead to blood pooling in the feet and legs, which causes increased pressure in the veins and reduced blood flow to the superficial tissues of the legs and feet. The result of this reduced blood flow can be mild to severe leg heaviness and aching, unsightly varicose veins, leg edema, and recurrent skin infections and skin ulcerations.

Pregnancy: During pregnancy women generally retain higher amounts of sodium and water. This excess fluid is needed by the fetus and placenta. A buildup of this excess fluid is a common cause of leg edema as well as swelling of the face, feet, and ankles.

Drugs: Various prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause a variety of side effects, which may be one of the causes of leg edema. Such drugs include:

  • •Blood pressure medicines
  • •Estrogen
  • •Calcium channel blockers
  • •Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • •Thiazolidinediones
  • •Corticosteroids
  • •Anabolic and androgenic steroids
  • •Diseases: Kidney, heart, and liver disease can cause leg edema.

Talk to your doctor or health care provider if you notice prolonged leg swelling as it can be a sign of leg edema. Be sure to educate yourself about the causes of leg edema so that you can better understand how to control and treat it.

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Edema Swelling

Edema is the medical term for swelling. Edema is swelling of the caused by an excessive accumulation of fluid in the small spaces that surround the tissue and organs. This accumulation can occur when your capillaries leak fluid as a result of damage or increased pressure. Your body tries to compensate for the loss of fluid in your capillaries by retaining water in your kidneys. This over compensation then causes the capillaries to leak even more, creating a cycle of excess fluid throughout the body. When the fluid leaks into the surrounding tissue, the tissue swells and causes edema.

Edema occurs most often in the legs because there is constant pressure on them. Various problems can cause peripheral edema in the legs, which may not be related to a specific disease.

Peripheral edema in the legs can lead to serious health problems. Always talk to your doctor or health care provider for information about causes of peripheral edema and treatment options. Edema treatment should start with the treatment of its underlying cause. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about treatment for your leg edema and to pinpoint the cause of the swelling. A number of tools and tests can be used to determine what is causing the edema.

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Edema Treatment

Edema Treatment Options

There are many options for edema treatment and symptom relief. Depending on the cause of your edema, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend self-care leg edema treatments such as:

  • •Lowering your salt intake to help decrease water retention
  • •Lying down with your feet elevated for at least one hour each day to promote healthy blood flow between your heart and legs Taking an over-the-counter diuretic to help reduce the water and sodium retained by your kidneys
  • •Wearing a 15-20 mmHg graduated compression stockings to help increase circulation in your legs and feet
  • •Avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time to relieve the pressure on your legs
  • •Walking or exercising to get your blood moving in your legs and feet.
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Pulmonary Edema

Pulmonary edema is fluid accumulation in the lungs and may cause respiratory failure. It is due to either failure of the heart to remove fluid from the lungs or a direct injury to the lungs.

Symptoms of pulmonary edema include:

  • •Difficulty breathing
  • •Coughing up blood
  • •Excessive sweating •anxiety, and pale skin
  • •A classic sign of pulmonary edema is the production of pink frothy sputum.

If pulmonary edema is left untreated, it can lead to coma and even death.

If pulmonary edema has been developing gradually, symptoms may include:

  • •Frequent urination at night
  • •Ankle edema
  • •Pitting Edema of the legs and ankles
  • •Inability to lie down flat due to breathlessness
  • •Episodes of severe sudden breathlessness at night

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Pitting Edema

Pitting edema is a form of edema in which fluid builds up in the extremities to such a degree that when gently pushed with a finger, a dimple will remain for some time before the skin slowly bounces back into place. This condition is a symptom of a number of medical conditions, some of which are very serious, and it requires medical treatment. If you notice the signs of pitting edema, please make an appointment with a doctor.

**This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.

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